Although Khabib Nurmagomedov can certainly talk a big game, Anthony Pettis is not convinced about his potential threat to the lightweight title.
While aware that the Dagestan native is an undefeated professional fighter and a Sambo champion, Pettis does not believe Khabib’s striking prowess is anywhere near the necessary level to challenge him.
“I feel like his striking is like an amateur level,” Pettis told MMAJunkie.com. “He only gets by on his wrestling. He thinks his striking is going to be good enough to survive against me, take me down and grind me out for 25 minutes? He’s never done that. He’s never fought a main event for 25 minutes.”
If he had to compare their respective weaknesses, Pettis sees his own wrestling prowess as more developed than Khabib’s striking, which does not bode well for the injured lightweight.
“Anybody can wrestle for 15 minutes, but it’s different when you’re fighting for the title. At the same time, his striking is amateur compared to where my wrestling us. My wrestling is on a way higher level than his striking if you want to compare the two.”
Nurmagomedov has been sidelined for several months patiently awaiting a clean bill of health to resume hard training. He injured his knee ahead of a match-up with Donald Cerrone and has since been forced to sit on the sidelines and rehabilitate the injury. During that time, Khabib has craftily maintained his spot in the headlines by constantly calling out the champion and referring to him as “scared.”
“I think he (doesn’t want) this fight. He’s scared,” Nurmagomedov told MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani following UFC 181. “Before he never said (anything) about me. But I am 6-0 (in the UFC) and the No. 1 contender (with a) 22-0 record. Showtime is scared.”
While Pettis is aware that Nurmagomedov is simply maintaining relevancy, he cannot help but be slicghtly bothered by his approach.
“He is definitely annoying,” Pettis said. “He’s going to have to wait his turn.”
Transcription take from MMAJunkie.com.
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